Jeffrey Kuo Photography » San Francisco Bay Area Wedding and Portrait Photographer

A Much Needed Break

I’m back from my trip to Asia! This was a very much needed break for me since I left my full-time job and started pursuing photography as my primary focus (something that I didn’t write about at the time, and am hoping to revisit since it’s almost been a full year).

In the last part of December thru January, I was seriously suffering from a lack of focus on anything photography-related. Heck, on anything anything-related! I had just finished an incredibly fun and creative stop-motion shoot and had intentions of revamping my site (which is still on-going, I swear) and finishing up some blog posts about sessions I did with other photographers. With so much to do, how was it that I couldn’t seem to get any of it done?

Meg Perotti’s post (which is beautifully written here) on the winter burn out let me realize that I wasn’t alone in this and helped allow me to admit that I was, indeed, suffering from burn out. As a photographer whose work I enjoy, I hope she doesn’t mind me drawing inspiration from her post!:) Coincidentally, I was already in Asia when her blog post was written, yet still stressed out from all the stuff I thought I should be working on. While on vacation. This was a first for me, since previous vacations were vacations away from my full-time job, away from my boss (which is now myself), and away from the obligations and responsibilities associated with work. As with any other business where everything falls on one person, I was allowing my pursuit in photography to consume every waking hour of my life.

Now that I’m back, I’m excited to get back to work! Being away and not being able to do any work was a blessing that I’m glad I allowed myself to take. I have a few exciting engagement sessions coming up (one in Hawaii!) and WPPI in just a few days to look forward to. I’ve also been toying with some ideas for some personal projects, and I’ve realized that I need to shoot these personal projects for myself in order to stay creative and enjoy my photography for myself. I also realized that I need to allow myself to live a more balanced life (something that was oddly easier when working for someone else). I’ve started reading Outliers, an incredibly interesting and stimulating book about the story of success. I can’t even recall the last time I’ve sat down to just read a book (long internet articles aside). Nobody can be in-the-zone 100% of the time, and by allowing myself time to enjoy other things, I think my photography will benefit from it as well.

If you’ve had a time where taking a break away from a project or work has helped, please share! I think we’ve all heard generic advice about how much it helps, but personal stories have so much more impact compared to having clichéd advice thrown at us.

Looking forward to sharing a few shots from my trip to Asia soon, but for now, here’s one shot of the famous Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, Japan.

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